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Membership is open to former COMSAT employees and surviving spouses.
If you are not getting important email announcements from COMARA, please email

Last update: 21-Sep-2017

Note from Webmaster - Sep 19
First: You should be able to now access the COMARA website.
For example, at last check, 28 members have been able to cast their votes for the next class of Directors using the online ballot. There is still a problem with the website administration page, but this affects primarily the webmaster and treasurer.

One tip: If you are having problems with a page, refresh the page. Browsers cache (save a local copy) of pages you visit, and may display a version that has already been fixed.
Update Sep 21. While Signin now seems to work, Signout may have a problem. After you Signout, at this time you should then reload the page. Normally, you probably don't need to signout, so this may not be a problem. If you have any problems with signin or signout, send an email to
How did this happen? The web hosting company installed a server update that causes some features in this website to stop working properly. I've located most of the issues now, I'm fixing and testing the new code. Initially, the code to sign in was not working, and this disabled access to many. Once that was fixed, most pages became accessible. I created much of the base code ("Server-side") over 15 years ago, so it can take time to update.

Members should be aware of the following events that are happening soon.

mall> 2017 IRAA/COMARA Golf Outing
Tue, Sep 19, 2017 10:00am - 2:00pm
MC Falls Road Golf Course
Check or PayPal to IRAA by Sep 15

Next Board Meeting

Tue, TBD Feb, 2018 11:30am
Chez Kinzie

2017 Annual Meeting
Sun, Sep 24, 2017 4-6:00pm
Joe Pelton Residence
Check or PayPal to COMARA by Sep 22

2017 Director Election
Vote by Online Ballot
Sep 01 - Sep 22, 2017

First Wednesday Dec 6, 2017
Woodside Deli, Germantown Commons Time: 1:30 - 4:00 pm.

Upcoming Events


2017 COMSAT Alumni Social - Sun - Sep. 24, 2017, 4:00pm

Correction: The time for the Social is 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Joe Pelton has again offered his house in Chain Bridge Forest in Arlington as the venue for this year's Reunion. Please join your COMSAT friends and colleagues for a social gathering on Sunday afternoon, September 24, 2017 from 4pm to 6:00pm.

Joe Pelton Residence This will be a chance to visit and catch up with friends and acquaintances from your COMSAT days. Spouses are welcome. While this social is being organized by the COMSAT Alumni & Retirees Association (COMARA), the event is open to all former COMSAT employees and spouses.

To cover costs please send a check for $25 per person by September 22 to
PO Box 34594
Bethesda, MD 20827
use the COMARA PayPal feature on the web before September 22. You can use your PayPal account or any credit card.

We would like to know you are coming as soon as possible: please use the simple form at to let us know you are coming.
If you have not paid 2017 dues, please consider adding $15 to the amount.


Joe Pelton Residence, 4025 40th Street North, Arlington, VA 22207, 703-536-6985
Directions from I-495:
Note - there is NO Glebe Road exit off of the GW Parkway. Call Joe Pelton (703 536 6985) if you need driving instructions
From the west:
Take the George Washington Parkway exit [43] towards Washington;. then exit onto Rte 123N/Chain Bridge Rd, then right onto N Glebe Rd.
From MD: Take the Cabin John exit [40] off the Beltway, (toward towards Glen Echo); exit onto Clara Barton Parkway, right onto Chain Bridge continue onto N Glebe Rd
Go up the hill about 3/4th of a mile, turn right on River Street (There is no left) into Chain Bridge Forest, turn right on 40th Street. 3rd house on the left.
View Google map
Parking: On street. Please try to leave the parking spaces closest to the house for use by members with limited mobility.

Food and Beverage

Oktoberfest Heavy hors d'oeuvres
Beer, wine, soft drinks

2017 Nominations for COMARA Board of Directors

The COMARA Bylaws specify that the members elect three directors by the time of the Annual Meeting (normally in September). The Directors serve for a period of three (3) years. There are a total of nine (9) Directors assuring a continuation.

The existing Board nominates three candidates. While the Bylaws include a provision for additional candidates to be proposed by active members, no additional candidates were proposed within the allowed period.

The Directors nominated for 2017 are
Denis Curtin,
Dan DiFonzo,
Bob Kinzie.

Each of these Directors have agreed to serving an additional three year term beginning in 2017. The current Board has accepted these three to appear on the 2017 ballot.

Election will be performed by electronic ballot to be provided by the end of August. Winners will be announced at the Annual Meeting and on the COMARA Website.

2nd Annual IRAA/COMARA & Intelsat Golf Outing

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 10:00AM - 2:00PM

Alan Olson sent this invitation to IRAA members using Punchbowl - an event notification app. COMARA members are invited, and should send Alan an email advising him of your interest.

MC Falls Road Golf Course
10800 Falls Road
Potomac, MD 20854


Satellite Gallery Opens at National Electronics Museum--July 10, 2017

The "Satellites: Transforming our Lives" exhibit--after 5 years of fund raising, collecting artifacts, and careful design is finally opening at the National Electronics Museum as of July 10, 2017. It was a long hard slog to raise over $600,000 from some 50 different contributors, to put together the exhibit artifacts including satellites and launchers, create the Arthur C. Clarke mini-theater, display the entire SSPI Hall of Fame--among many other wonderful features. The committee that made this happen are to be congratulated. They include Denis Curtin, Maury Mechanick, Ellen Hoff, Ruth Pritchard-Kelly, Ramesh Gupta, Scott Chase, and Joe Pelton, who has chaired the effort over the past 5 years. The opening will be as of July 10, 2017 and there will be a special gala opening in the Fall for members of the Maryland state government, industry officials, the SSPI, the Hall of Fame and major contributors.

A "soft opening" celebration among the satellite gallery organizers and designers was held on Sunday June 25th to review the exhibit in its shakedown mode. Pictured are in the introductory foyer of the satellite gallery are:

Ellen Hoff (Satellite Gallery Committee and SSPI Hall of Fame), Michael Simons (National Electronics Museum Director), Ruth-Pritchard Kelly (Satellite Gallery Committee and representative on behalf of Wilbur Pritchard), Denis Curtin (Satellite Gallery Committee and SSPI Hall of Fame), Joseph Pelton (Chair, Satellite Gallery Committee and SSPI Hall of Fame), and Maury Mechanick ((Satellite Gallery Committee and President of COMARA)

July National Electronics Museum Newsletter

Read more about activities at the National Electronics Museum (Near BWI Airport)

July is going to be a fun, busy month! Our first session of Pioneer Camp is July 26-27 and there are still spots available. We've almost reached our goal amount on our GoFundMe campaign to fully fund 12 campers this year! There's still time to donate and any additional donations will go towards next year's sponsorships.

We also have an official opening date for Satellites: Transforming Our Lives: July 10th! I can't think of a more perfect time for active duty military to come in with their families to participate in Blue Star Museums!

Julia Tontala
Visitor Services Representative
National Electronics Museum

Pictures from 8th Annual IRAA/COMARA & Intelsat Summer Picnic

Date: Sunday, May 21, 2017
Seneca Creek State Park - Buck Pavillion
Hosted by Intelsat Retirees & Alumni Association

2017 IRAA/COMARA Picnic Photos We have some photos taken at the 2017 Picnic on May 21. These are hosted on Google Photos.
Alan Olson and his crew provided a great menu featuring Peruvian chicken, burgers, grilled vegetables, desserts, and salads.
The weather was great and all who showed up enjoyed the conversation and comaraderie. We hope more COMARA members will take advantage of the event next year. We are under a shelter so we are sheltered from hot sun or rain. There are lots of places to sit.

Have you paid dues for 2017?

So many New Year's Resolutions are quickly broken and forgotten, but one resolution you should work on is to keep up with your annual COMARA membership dues. Already 193 members are paid up for 2017. The COMARA Board of Directors wholeheartedly thanks each of you who are already paid up for 2017.

Your dues are needed to support COMARA's mission of keeping the COMSAT Legacy alive and paying for this year's operational expenses such as the COMARA web site. COMARA.ORG has lots of wonderful links to legacy materials, membership contact data, and retiree benefits information.

If you cannot remember whether or not you are already paid up, you can check your dues status by signing in to COMARA.ORG and seeing if the text at the top left side next to your name says "Dues paid in current year" or "Future dues paid".
For the 600 of you are not already paid up, please mail your dues check of $15 for 1 year or better yet $30 for 2 years to:

PO Box 34594
Bethesda, MD 20827

Don't forget you can also pay your dues via the PayPal link at the bottom of the COMARA home page.

Your membership dues status is shown at the top of our Home Page after you sign in. If you have already paid your 2017 membership dues, thank you for your support. If you have not yet paid your 2017 membership dues of $15 per year, please send a check to COMARA using our PO Box or use PayPal. Better yet, please send in $30 for both your 2017 and 2018 membership dues.
PO Box 34594
Bethesda, MD 20827
Pay with PayPal
What's New
Author's Corner
Benefits Information
Email and address Problems
John McLucas Book
In Memoriam
Board of Directors
  • Denis Curtin - 2014
  • Dan DiFonzo - 2014
  • Bob Kinzie - 2014
  • Peter Jacxsens - 2015
  • David Lee - 2015
  • Maury Mechanick - 2015
  • Fred Kelly - 2016
  • Geza Serenyi - 2016
  • Ron Johnson - 2016
  • Maury Mechanick - President
  • Fred Kelly - Secretary
  • Geza Serenyi - Treasurer
  • Denis Curtin - Social
  • Peter Jacxsens - Membership
  • Ron Johnson - 1st Wednesday
  • Paul Schrantz - Legacy
  • Rich Lustig - Benefits
  • Jack Hannon - Benefits
  • Ron Garlow - Webmaster


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